prenatal care

Indiana's Infant Mortality Rate Still Lags

Jul 26, 2018
Health leaders discuss infant mortality in Indianapolis. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

Indiana’s infant mortality rates are not going down. In the past few years they’ve actually ticked up slightly.  Health leaders gathered at an Infant Mortality Summit lead by Community Health Network to discuss ways to reduce Indiana’s high rate.

Indiana State Department of Health / Facebook

Indiana health officials say the key to reducing the state's chronically high infant mortality rates is to improve infant death rates among minorities.

Indiana needs to cut its infant death rate by one-sixth in five years to reach a federal goal of holding the rate to six deaths for every thousand live births. The mortality rate among whites is already at that goal, but babies born to African-American Hoosiers are two-and-a-half times more likely to die before their first birthday.

Bradley Stemke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/detroitsunrise/

Legislators are crafting a grant program aimed at improving Indiana‘s sixth-worst in the nation infant mortality rate. Instead of state initiatives to address infant mortality, legislators are hoping local hospitals and doctors have better ideas.

The proposed "Safety PIN" grant gives preference to a handful of areas, including steering more women into prenatal care or getting pregnant women to quit smoking. The PIN in Safety PIN stands for Protecting Indiana‘s Newborns.